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Old 15.03.2013, 08:24
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positive story about school bullying in Swiss local school

We often hear stories of mobbing and bullying and how the schools in Switzerland dont deal with it properly. So I want to share with you something that happened this week to show another side.

This week I reported to the school, that a 4th class child (not my child but a child who comes to me for English lessons) told me that they had observed the following:

As school finished, 5 members of the 4th and 5th class let down the bicycle tyres of another child's bike. One of the teachers saw the end of the incident. The child is newish to the school and I have seen him on his own a few times

The response from the school has been great and they had acted promptly before they had received my email. The parents of all the children were informed. The situation was discussed in class and the children had to suggest positive ways, that each of them could contribute, to having good class atmosphere.

The teacher and head teacher thanked me for informing them, as it added to the information they had and told me that my involvement would not be known and that it had helped them. I had thought about whether I should report this, because I had heard the information second hand but decided that if it were my child I would want another mother to do so.
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Old 15.03.2013, 09:05
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Re: positive story about school bullying in Swiss local school

Wanna bet they're gonna do it again? They'll choose something else to torment the newcomer....Nice story though.
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Old 15.03.2013, 09:29
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Re: positive story about school bullying in Swiss local school

Its a nice response but I've seen my fair share of bullying and this probably made it worse for the poor bullied child.
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Old 15.03.2013, 09:29
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Re: positive story about school bullying in Swiss local school

Yes you are right they will do it again. To add to what I said earlier the headteacher said:

"However, I know, that the relationship between certain kids is not so good - we are already working on that... It's a process which won't be solved within days."

For me it is heartening that they dealt with the incident but are looking longer term too
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Old 15.03.2013, 09:59
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Re: positive story about school bullying in Swiss local school

You may be right but that is not the point. What I like about this is that the OP did something about it because many people choose not to do so. Yes...they may do it again but as the school reacted..they could get in trouble...serious trouble. And also it shows to the other kids that they can get cought or in trouble!

To the OP: good for you!



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Wanna bet they're gonna do it again? They'll choose something else to torment the newcomer....Nice story though.
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Old 15.03.2013, 10:23
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Re: positive story about school bullying in Swiss local school

When bullying continues, if it's physical, the police do get involved - I've observed this in four different Swiss schools.

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Its a nice response but I've seen my fair share of bullying and this probably made it worse for the poor bullied child.
Not intervening, not addressing the problem perpetuates bullying. Sure, if the bullying kid is sociopathic it can get worse in the short-term. In those cases, the kid doing it will, in my experience, eventually be removed and dealt with.

Casual bullying "just a bit of fun at the newcomers expense" gets stopped by cracking down hard on it. My daughters both experienced bullying. We intervened, and with the help of the school, it stopped. The perpetrators learned that their behaviour was not acceptable.

There's a difference between bullying and the day-to-day rough and tumble of life. Let the latter go, zero tolerance on the former.
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Old 15.03.2013, 11:41
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Re: positive story about school bullying in Swiss local school

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Its a nice response but I've seen my fair share of bullying and this probably made it worse for the poor bullied child.
Knowing that there are people watching and caring what happens to him, will make the boy feel safer and supported if anything happens again.

Better that, than having to put up with nonsense alone and in silence.

I agree that is all of us who shall stop bulling at schools, parents should be more involved in this, not only wait for the teachers to do all the work.

My son was being bullied by a boy in his classroom, because he was the new in the school. When reported to the teacher and after some attempts to get to talk to his mother, I found out that the mother is used to bully the teachers at the school when they tell off her child

No wonder why this boy was acting like a prat, so sure nothing will happen to him, because his mom will clean his act up.

So, I'm glad there are some parents that are not afraid of reporting bullies even if the child victim is not theirs.
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Old 15.03.2013, 11:50
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Re: positive story about school bullying in Swiss local school

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Its a nice response but I've seen my fair share of bullying and this probably made it worse for the poor bullied child.
Better to be bullied and other people aware of it, than bullied with no-one the wiser. Once people in positions of responsibility people are aware then at least the bullies know that there are repercussions, and at least the child doesn't feel as alone.

In the UK I would agree with you and say that it makes little difference, but in Switzerland where social disorder is so mild, and where schools and parents seem to be more directly involved in the schooling process, as opposed to the horrible UK system where many couldn't give a rats ass, then I would hope reporting it has some effectiveness at least.
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Old 15.03.2013, 12:27
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Re: positive story about school bullying in Swiss local school

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Yes you are right they will do it again. To add to what I said earlier the headteacher said:

"However, I know, that the relationship between certain kids is not so good - we are already working on that... It's a process which won't be solved within days."

For me it is heartening that they dealt with the incident but are looking longer term too
You did something good when reporting to the school, OP. No doubt. I'm interested to know what sort of repercussions the little rascals would face, should they not change their behavior. It's good and nice to have discussions and to raise awareness, but usually they don't work.
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Old 15.03.2013, 12:33
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Re: positive story about school bullying in Swiss local school

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The response from the school has been great and they had acted promptly before they had received my email. The parents of all the children were informed. The situation was discussed in class and the children had to suggest positive ways, that each of them could contribute, to having good class atmosphere.
I can make a suggestion, how about the poop disturbers be given Q-tips and made to clean inbetween every key of every keyboard of every computer in the school's office during their break; they do it again, it will be every computer in the school...
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Old 15.03.2013, 15:02
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Re: positive story about school bullying in Swiss local school

I have also my children in Swiss local schools.
Being "different" surely takes a toll on my children.

There had been some bullying in the school regarding my son who is in the 3rd class. I sent him for Kungfu lessons and now he has instead become a kind of terror in class because he can pack a good punch.

During the first 3 years, my son was bullied not only by some boys in his class, but also some older boys from other classes. They are done "in good fun", so said the teachers. I beg to differ.

I once wrote a long letter (sincere and heartfelt one) to the Class teacher and assured her that I am aware of bullying and the immediate and secondary effects on a young child (mine). I said I will be proactive but also pleaded her to take action against recalcitrant bullies.

I described that as a parent, it is my responsibility to discipline (not necessarily corporal punishments) my child at home but I pleaded with her to discipline or inform the parents of bullies in the class. They seems to think it is not their remit to socially discipline or teach the children.

The teachers had always said my son will "learn to deal with it". I agree to a certain extent, but I was angry when the teacher started to turn a deaf ear and declined to investigate who started some serious fights etc.

I am glad many parents are not "head in the sand" animals and have begun to speak up. As with a motorists witnessing an accident on the highway, we have responsibility to stop to help or call the Police hotline. Staying silent can mean certain death for the accident victims.

I do not know if the teacher took my letter in good faith, but I am not one who will remain silent. If my son becomes a bully, it is MY fault for not spotting it and correcting it. We cannot depend on stressed out teachers to do our duties as parents. But neither can the teachers (should they) ignore this and say it is none of their business. Most incidents happen in School Grounds.

Stay calm, the parenting journey is long and paved with thorns. Only the calm will prevail.
Good luck.
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Old 15.03.2013, 18:21
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Re: positive story about school bullying in Swiss local school

Good for you, Annie. All too often these days the attitude is "it's not my problem" or "I don't want to get involved". Everyone has to get involved otherwise the bullying and mobbing won't stop. Children should also be taught that if they report such incidents to their teacher/supervisor/parent/adult, they're not "telling tales" or "dobbing mates in", they're telling the truth.

It not only helps stop such actions, but also teaches children about responsibility and good citizenship, i.e. looking out for others who need their help/aid.
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Old 16.03.2013, 10:15
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Re: positive story about school bullying in Swiss local school

I just want to recommend a programme that can be really useful for kids, parents and teachers. www.kidpower.org anti-bullying and teaching emotional and physical safety and boundaries. We have found it really useful to play with in our home.

Personally, I would not stand for a teacher saying "they must just learn to deal with it". I believe children learn by modelling, and that a no-fault no-blame approach, in which they are taught assertiveness skills, is really helpful.

I hear of many expat parents with children in Swiss schools worried about being accused of being labelled as "interfering". To which I personally would be tempted to reply, "thank you, I am just doing my job".

It is not helpful to rescue but it surely is helpful to teach children how to practice standing up for themselves in a safe fun way.
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Old 16.03.2013, 16:44
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Re: positive story about school bullying in Swiss local school

I stick to my idea that the best way to deal with bullying would be when bullies face some consequences of their actions. Being expelled from school (temporarily) for instance, lower grades, I don't know. (for the parents of the culprits would be a strong signal they have to discipline their kids...some don't really care as long as their little darlings are not the victims...)...You can teach a child to cope or stand up for himself, but not all children are "strong", not all children are witty in different situations.
Discussions are also good, as a first step...but if they get (and they usually do) the idea that they can basically get away with it...they'll do it again.
Every child has the right to be and feel safe at school, or on his way to/from school.
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Old 16.03.2013, 19:29
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Re: positive story about school bullying in Swiss local school

It might make people feel temporarily better that the problem is being "dealt with" but if the consequence is particularly shaming or punitive, then it will just reinforce the lesson the kid probably already believes: "I have a reason to feel fear and act it out", "I do not deserve empathy" and "I will get what I want in the world by using "power over" tactics".

More effective to demonstrate real empathy while setting limits necessary for children's safety.

There are some great books on this (also available in German) - Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids; the No-Fault Classroom; the Compassionate Classroom.
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Old 16.03.2013, 19:47
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Re: positive story about school bullying in Swiss local school

In such a case you escalate the matter to the headmaster, and if that doesn't work to the local school board. And you make it clear at each stage that you won't give up until the problem is resolved satisfactorily.

As I understand it, schools are required to have an anti-bullying policy.

Cheers,
Nick

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The teachers had always said my son will "learn to deal with it". I agree to a certain extent, but I was angry when the teacher started to turn a deaf ear and declined to investigate who started some serious fights etc.
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Old 16.03.2013, 23:36
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Re: positive story about school bullying in Swiss local school

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It might make people feel temporarily better that the problem is being "dealt with" but if the consequence is particularly shaming or punitive, then it will just reinforce the lesson the kid probably already believes: "I have a reason to feel fear and act it out", "I do not deserve empathy" and "I will get what I want in the world by using "power over" tactics".

More effective to demonstrate real empathy while setting limits necessary for children's safety.

There are some great books on this (also available in German) - Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids; the No-Fault Classroom; the Compassionate Classroom.
Empathy, yes, in the first phase of the bullying. Discussions, setting limits, OK, of course. But when nothing helps and the bully still finds a way to torment his victim, well, he should be ready to face consequences. I would also be concerned about the well-being of the bullied child, what about him in all this story? It doesn't matter if you don't follow the rules, you'll have attention and empathy...I'm afraid school has to act first in the interest of the victim. this is not happening today and that is why sometimes kids commit suicide or go through maturity years with deep scars and distorted self image.
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Old 06.04.2013, 15:42
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Re: positive story about school bullying in Swiss local school

The important factor here is that the person who reported is not the child's parent. So what about them?
I agree with most of the replies. the case is considered closed when it is not.
I have been there with my son and it was handled in the same manner. It continued. Finally my son was called with the boy (2years older) and the teachers asked my son if all this was true. He was scared of the boy and said no.
So I stepped in again.

It is only when another big boy told the bully to back off that things stopped. I went to meet the billy in front of his mother. I introduced myself and wished him a merry christmas. He looked very worried.

The fact that I did not let go showed my son that no one should accept bullying. It was a great lesson for him.
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Old 17.12.2013, 21:43
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Re: positive story about school bullying in Swiss local school

Thought I'd update ye all. The kid who was bullied is doing great. He's part of the kid's team now and seems really happy. I think he shows some autistic behaviour and the teachers have worked really hard to bring him into the fold whilst working with this.

To get him included for example they got him directing traffic when all the mums were doing paper collection with their cars. All the kids have to help out and each bundle of paper we collect we earn 5chf for the school.

Anyway, everyone accepts him now and I can see he is really happy.
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Old 05.11.2014, 15:12
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Re: positive story about school bullying in Swiss local school

Another positive experience:

My son, next month he turns 7, had issues with another child from the same school. i am not sure if i should call the behavior bullying. My son walks to the Kinder hort (daycare) which is about 400 metres from the school. so i have not witnessed what actually happens on those daily walks. the daycare people saw my son being kicked and his school bag & gym bag being tossed and they promptly intervened. they spoke to the boy who did it and asked him not to repeat. i was asked by the day care team to report to the school.

i was not sure what to expect but nonetheless i felt it was important to let my son's teacher know especially since my son knew the other boy. The teacher was visibly upset when i told her and she said it is not an acceptable behavior. she took up the matter with the teacher of the other boy and the boy has been warned.

I was pleasantly surprised and definitely happy that the teacher/school did not have a relaxed attitude to this kind of behavior. And i sincerely hope the boy in question does not resort to any other means to hurt my son. The day care team are keeping a watch.
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